May 30, 2014

{Blog Tour} Book Review: Played - Liz Fichera

Title: Played (Hooked #2)
Author: Liz Fichera
Release Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
This Game Is Getting All Too Real
He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.
She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.
It's been more than a year since I read Hooked, and so it's been more than a year since I started waiting for Played. In the first book, Fred and Ryan got their happy ending, but no one said happy endings are forever. Not even theirs, especially when Ryan's younger sister Riley decides to get all Lannister-like and pay her debt to Sam, Fred's old friend who she turned down.

Jeez, she looked exactly like her brother, with that same know-it-all, confident face that always got on my last nerve.
Sam dislikes Riley by association, and although she's usually all-around nice, Riley dislikes Sam because she has no idea why he's so grumpy, particularly to her. This kind of relationship between two strangers is often irritatingly childish, but not this time because the history between them, albeit indirect, just feels somewhat personal. Talk about living vicariously through books.

The verbal smackdowns don't last long, however, because there's nothing quite like getting stuck in the woods with torrential rains and a sprained ankle to bring two people together.
"I'm in love with your brother's girlfriend," I blurted.
Now there's a real icebreaker. And when they finally get rescued, Riley makes a promise to Sam to help him win Fred's heart (because Fred/Ryan is bound to end up in flames some time soon, anyway, she thinks). Soon, Riley's running around coordinating Sam's wardrobe and cutting his hair, and Sam, knowing she won't take no for an answer, decides to let her have at it until she finally gets bored and moves on. Except she doesn't get bored and Sam finds himself using body spray even without Riley forcing his hand.

All is fine and amusing at first as Sam undergoes a not-to-hot transformation at the hands of the younger Berenger, but that is until their efforts actually start affecting Fred and Ryan. I really pitied the golden couple because dude, I invested one entire book's worth of emotion until that ship sailed! One must not puncture its hull!

But aside from Riley and Sam's conspiring, they have their own problems to deal with. Riley is a confused girl, desperate for people to see her as more than the good girl and the little sister of The Ryan Berenger. Sam, on the other hand, is struggling to get over Fred and to know why there feels to be a mile-long distance between him and his father even when they're under the same roof. These personal problems bring them closer than their scheming does, and slowly they become friends to more-than-friends. Sam knows he should stay away from Riley who seems to bring nothing but trouble, but when he's with her, his indifferent facade gets tossed out to reveal the true him. Their antics were so adorable, as in grin-and-giggle-at-seven-in-the-morning adorable.

While definitely a lighter story than Hooked, I loved Played just the same, possibly even more. It certainly made me laugh more than I remember the first book doing, and it's just what I needed to read for the past few lazy days. Now, how long do I have to wait for book three?

MY FAVORITE PART is Riley's first visit to Sam's house :3


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